Richard Gearhart of Lowell, Indiana and George McKown of Indianapolis, Indiana have been indicted on fraud charges after prosecutors claim they sold securities to investors despite not being registered to do so. The two were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud, said U.S. Attorney David Capp.

According to court documents, Gearhart and McKown allegedly sold securities to people who transferred their pensions, annuities, 401(k)s and cash to invest with them, through Asset Preservation Specialists Inc. under the guarantee that their investments would remain safe.

Neither Richard Gearhart nor George McKown was registered to sell securities with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the state of Indiana.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in a news release that no matter how trustworthy someone seems, potential investors should ensure that person and the person’s businesses are registered with the state of Indiana.

“Gearhart had all the warning signs of a typical Ponzi scheme,” Lawson said in the release. “He took advantage of people he knew and wasn’t registered with my office to sell securities.”

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Secretary of State Securities Division.

If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.